'Lady and the Tramp' remake casts shelter dog in lead role

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An Arizona shelter dog will make its debut on the big screen as the lead role in Disney's live-action remake of the popular 1955 animated movie "Lady and the Tramp."

Monte, a 2-year-old terrier mix, was picked by Hollywood animal trainers looking to cast the role of "Tramp," the street dog who falls in love with "Lady," the pedigree pup.

Monte was rescued by the Animal Services Center of the Mesilla Valley animal shelter in Las Cruces, N.M., and adopted by HALO Animal Rescue in Phoenix, Ariz.

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The pooch was part of a group of approximately 50 dogs who were sent from the Mesilla Valley shelter to HALO on April 26, 2018, Heather Allen, president and CEO of HALO Animal Rescue, told the Las Cruces Sun.

"His notes said he was super friendly, greets people right away, gives kisses, loves attention, he knows how to sit, and walks well on a leash," Allen said. "He didn't look like what he does in his movie photo. His terrier hair wasn't full grown and he was still maturing."

Hollywood scouts cast Monte for the movie in a secret selection process at the shelter.

"We knew that they were potentially seeking a dog for Hollywood but we didn’t know why," Allen said. "It was top secret, they were looking for a particular look and we weren’t sure for what."

The movie is slated to premiere on Nov. 12 on Disney's new streaming service.

Tramp will be voiced by Justin Theroux. Monte's on-screen puppy love will be a Cocker Spaniel starring as Lady and voiced by Tessa Thompson.

The Arizona shelter is particularly proud of Monte's new gig because it is an opportunity to spread awareness for shelter animals and it shows how far they can actually go.

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"It’s special when these things happen. It helps show the world that shelter animals are wonderful and people can find their next best friend there," she said.

"They could also be highly trained to be in movies. It shows that they're not a bunch of broken and discarded animals. They make great family pets as well."

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